Do-it-yourself preservation

  • Petroglyph art

    Marie Valleroy
  With just a handful of federal agents patrolling millions of square miles of the West, it's not surprising that looting and vandalism of Indian artifacts are rampant. But with budget cuts portending even less money for enforcement, where will help on the ground come from? One answer is from volunteers, people who give their time because they love the heritage of the West and hate seeing it deteriorate. One of the most successful programs comes from Arizona's Parks Department, where resource protection specialist Mary Estes has trained 500 volunters as site stewards. They document and photograph unrecorded ancient ruins, monitor remote archaeological sites and report vandals. In Nevada, Keith Myhrer, an archaeologist with the Bureau of Land Management in Las Vegas, has been working closely with members of the Southern Nevada Rock Art Enthusiasts. He trains the club's members to monitor sites, and to speak to visitors about the significance of the archaeological record. Education, says Myhrer, is the most effective deterrent to vandalism. For more information about helping federal or state agencies as a volunteer, contact:

Arizona: Gary Stumpf, BLM, 602/650-5501; Mary Estes, Arizona Parks Department's Site Steward Program, 602/542-4174;

Colorado: Rick Athearn, BLM, 303/239-3735; Louann Jackson, Anasazi Heritage Center, 970/882-4811; Larry Riggs, Colorado Archaeological Society, 303/449-2852;

Idaho: Dan Hutchinson, BLM, 208/384-3348; Lynn McDonald, Bureau of Reclamation, 208/378-5316; Mary Anne Davis, Idaho Historical Society, 208/334-3847;

Montana: Gary Smith, BLM, 406/255-2939; Mike Andrews, Bureau of Reclamation, 406/247-7315; Ken Feyhl, Montana Archaeological Society, 406/656-2583;

Nevada: Pat Barker, BLM, 702/785-6452; Keith Myhrer, BLM, 702/647-5079; Don Hendricks, Southern Nevada Rock Art Enthusiasts, 702/878-4420;

New Mexico: Steve Fosberg, BLM, 505/438-7415; Paul Williams, BLM, 505/758-8851.

Oregon: Richard Hanes, BLM, 503/683-6669; Jim Keyser, USFS, 503/326-6711; Ron Sanders, 503/747-0068;

Utah: Garth Portillo, BLM, 801/539-4276; Dale Davidson, BLM (San Juan), 801/587-2141;

Washington: Rich Bailey, BLM: 509/536-1217; Daniel Mattson, USFS, 509/447-7336; Bill Betz, Pend Oreille Anthropological Society, 509/447-2750;

Wyoming: Mike Bies, BLM, 307/347-9871; Rick Laurent, USFS, 307/674-2619; Glenn Sweem, Wyoming Archaeological Society, 307/674-8659;

California: Eric Ritter, BLM, 916/224-2100; University Research Expeditions Program, Berkeley, 415/642-6586.

* Ron Sanders
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